Janet Cruz says Democrats haven't done enough to convince voters
House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz of Tampa said Florida's budget woes are due to misplaced priorities and chided the minority party for not doing a better job convincing voters that they're fighting in their best economic interests.
"I don't think as Democrats we've done a good enough job at articulating how our core values have a direct impact on ensuring Florida families can continue to climb the economic ladder of success," Cruz told reporters Tuesday.
The comments follow an election cycle when Democrats were expected to perform much better than they did, particularly in the state Legislature, where they picked up one Senate seat and two in the House.
More funding for public education, better access to health care and a focus on clean water will help the state's economy grow, Cruz said, and help avoid budget shortfalls such as the projected one this year.
"Our state doesn't have a revenue problem or a spending problem," she said. "What we have is a problem in priorities."
Pressed for details about how the state has misaligned its priorities, Cruz said funds should come from economic incentives, though she did say there were some that she understands "both sides" of, such as tourism funding that helps Tampa International Airport but also fueled a $1 million contract with Pitbull last year.